There’s an old saying about how sometimes the oppressed becomes the oppressor. Just ask Robespierre. Or Marx, who foretold a “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Or Pete Townsend, who said, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
Where am I going with this?
Here’s where: sometimes the outlaws, the renegades, those who “rage” against the “machine…” sometimes they become, well, the machine. The boss. The Mitt Romneys.
Henry Miller, despite his love for the classics, hated the stolid, starchy, vanilla/manilla vibe of modern literature at the time. He very consciously rebelled against it (so much so, he immodestly thought he deserved the Nobel Peace Prize.)
But something happened on the way to storming the castle: Miller became the Institution. The Man.
Well, that’s not *entirely* true – most colleges still don’t teach Miller – but it’s fun to see how he has slowly slithered his way into the quasi-mainstream, so much so that you can read articles in the Huffington Post called “11 Brilliant Writing Commandments from Henry Miller.”
Why golly gee, it’s the Moses of Williamsburg parting the sea of cheap Merlot! His stone tablets were stale baguettes. God didn’t talk to him as as burning bush, but rather a chain-smoking Swiss prostitute!
Anyway, it’s a great article, and here are Miller’s 11 Commandments (yes, he outdid Yahweh), taken from his “Henry Miller on Writing,” which you can buy on/at our online store!:
1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
5. When you can’t create you can work.
6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
9. Discard the Program when you feel like it-but go back to it the next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.
Read the article here!